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December 4, 2010

Ugliness is an insult to others ...
"La laideur, c'est une insulte pour les autres."

Half Nelson autopotrait 2010

Rohmer was a brilliant director in sixties. One of the founding figures of the French New Wave cinema. And surprise, surprise.... I truly hate his ordinary images. I mean ordinary because he made his films more realistic than life, visually at least.

Half Nelson autopotrait 2010

If it comes to his scripts or rather novels as many critics called them, that's a whole different story. A tale of winter for example, totally surprised me at the end. It was magical and authentic both, what happened to the main character. But the way we watch her living it is disgusting: 
sad suburbs, grey common spaces and average architecture. All of it sound pretty suitable for the cinema, I know but with the scattered cold light that he used, most of the pictures looked uninteresting. According to me, his film sets are painfully boring, in the way he shot it.

Half Nelson autopotrait 2010

And still there is something deep inside, forcing me to say that I loved Collectioneuse, Clair's Knee, A tale of winter and many others (Rohmer made over 50 movies).
The unidentified object making me love these ugly ducklings might be Rohmer's weakness for implicit beauty, that he set actually very cleverly in his films. Naturally, the beauty in the largest meaning of this word, not necessary just the physical and visual one.

Half Nelson autopotrait 2010

 Here are my favourite parts of Collectioneuse, where characters speak about beauty. The dialogue is divine cause it shows us several different approaches. One certainly hypocrite , politicly correct bullshit, making us believe that a successful female model can pay no attention to the physical attraction.... see by yourself!

You remind me of elegant people in the 18th century who were very concerned with their appearance and the effect they had on others. That was already a creation, the beginning of the Revolution. The distance established by elegance from those who aren't elegant is crucial and it's that void around the person..... that you create with your objects too. But you could just as well do without your objects. You, yourself are the can of paint surrounded by razor blades. Razor blades are words. They could be silence. They could also be elegance...a certain yellow.
But in love, the notion of beauty is essential. We love someone because we find him handsome.
-We actually find him handsome because we love him!
+Yes a man may be ugly yet have immense charm. If he's loved his ugliness is transformed into beauty.
For me an ugly man has no charm. Nothing's possible. It's over immediately.
-What's over?
Anything. Even the most superficial relationship. Even to have a drink for five minutes. I can't. If he's ugly I leave. Can you be friends with someone you find ugly?
-Ugliness and beauty don't enter into my friendships I don't see my friends as either ugly or handsome.
-But friendship doesn't happen in five minutes. It takes several encounters. How do you manage that with someone you find ugly? Me I run. It's impossible.

It's not a question of ugliness. Among crowds of beautiful people I'm only interested in those who possess something more than beauty. Someone of absolute beauty would bore me. I'm not talking about Greek beauty. Absolute beauty doesn't exist. To find someone handsome sometimes the tiniest thing is enough. Perhaps something between the nose and mouth.
-So anyone has a chance to please you? At least a chance.
No, that's the problem.
I find very few people handsome. And it really disturbs my relationships terribly because if I'm repelled I never see that person again. And since many people repel me.
- You never change your mind?
The first thing I say if I'm asked to dinner isn't "What does he do?" But "Is he handsome?"
-And ugly ones are always doomed? To the ovens.

They deserve it. Ugliness is an insult to others. One's responsible for one's looks. For instance a nose moves or ages according to how one thinks or speaks. Besides, I'm not talking about static beauty. One's movements, expressions, all that counts doesn't it?

Half Nelson
for smmn

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